If you have the EU disabled person’s parking permit/card displayed on your windscreen you have certain parking concessions. You may park in assigned disabled person’s parking spaces. These spaces have the wheelchair symbol painted on the ground or have a sign with the symbol displayed. Most accessible parking bays are located near amenities including: shops, post offices, education places, work, social events, banks, etc. The idea of the EU parking permit is that if you travel to any EU country you are entitled to park in a disabled persons parking space/bay. If you are travelling outside the EU it is advised that you contact the relevant embassy for that country.
The medical criteria for issue of the EU parking permit are strict and only persons whose mobility is severely and permanently restricted qualify. These criteria were revised and clarified in the Department of Transport’s ‘Review of the Disabled Parking Scheme 2010’. The primary legislation for the purposes of EU parking permit defines a disabled person as:
“A person with a permanent condition or disability that severely restricts their ability to walk”
Applicants, with the exception of Primary Medical Cert holders or those already registered blind, must have a medical practitioner complete the medical section of the application, describing the applicant’s level of mobility and certifying the accuracy of same. As a general guideline the permit is aimed at persons who can only walk very short distances without assistance. Specific measures for the degree of impairment of lung capacity and the severity level of heart conditions which apply are given in the published Guidelines for Medical Practitioners: follow this link -https://goo.gl/97wah
A Primary Medical Certificate is a certificate issued for the purposes of availing of the Disabled Drivers & Disabled Passengers Tax Relief Scheme. The certificate is granted following a specific examination by an independent HSE medical practitioner. The standard of mobility impairment is typically higher than for the EU Disabled Persons Parking Permit, therefore, holders are considered to qualify having already been certified as meeting the criteria. Primary Medical Certificate holders are required to submit a copy of their certificate with their application form in lieu of having the medical section completed.
Similarly, those who are visually impaired and are already registered blind with NCBI need only provide a copy of their registration in lieu of having the medical section completed.
The EU parking permit is issued on behalf of the Department of Transport by the Disabled Drivers Association. There is an administration charge of €35 per parking card. The card is valid for two years.
To apply for an EU parking permit from DDAI a Primary Medical Certificate holder should furnish a copy of their certificate or their vehicle registration certificate showing tax exemption and including a brief outline of their disability and mobility difficulties. A person who is registered blind should obtain a certificate of their registration from the National Council of the Blind in Ireland (NCBI) and submit to our address as listed below.
Other prospective applicants should contact the DDAI to discuss their eligibility with one of our support staff. Alternatively, those wishing to apply can write or have an advocate write on their behalf by email or by post, indicating the basis of their disability, their age and the manner and degree to which their disability affects their mobility, including information on any mobility aids they might use.
Our contact details are as follows:
Post: Parking Card Section, Disabled Drivers Association, Ballindine, Claremorris, Co Mayo
Telephone: 094 936 4054
The EU parking permit must be renewed every two years. An out of date parking permit is invalid and has no entitlements.
The DDAI automatically issue renewal forms to cardholders approximately three weeks prior to the card expiring with full instructions on how to renew. Renewal notices will be sent to the address to which the original permit was sent. In the event of a change of address it is important that you advice us in writing to the address below.
The permit may be used by the disabled person in any vehicle in which they are travelling, either as a driver or as a passenger.
The laws on parking do not extend to private car parks. Spaces assigned to disabled persons in private or privately operated car parks are operated at the discretion of the car park operator and may incur charges and/or time limits. The private operator may also choose who the spaces are allocated to in the context of overall accessibility although most recognise the EU parking permit.
The EU parking permit gives parking entitlements only in areas where parking is allowed; parking in clearway lanes, loading bays and bus corridors is not allowed. Possession of a parking card will not exempt you from being towed in these areas. Parking on double yellow lines is strictly forbidden. Parking on single yellow lines is not recommended.
The EU Parking Permit must be renewed every two years. An out of date parking permit is invalid and has no entitlements. Parking penalties then apply. The Road Traffic Act 2002 empowers the Minister for Transport to apply a fixed charge system to breaches of road traffic law and from 3 April 2006 the offence of illegally parking in a disabled person’s parking bay was brought within the remit of this enforcement regime. Where illegal parking in a disabled person’s bay is detected, a member of An Garda Siochána or a traffic warden employed by a local authority can issue a Fixed Charge Notice. The person liable to be prosecuted for the offence has the option, in lieu of going to court, of making a fixed charge payment in the amount of €80 within 28 days from issue of the Notice or to pay that amount increased by 50%, i.e. a fixed charge in the amount of €120 within the next 28 day period. If no payment is received within 56 days, court prosecution proceedings are initiated.